A stop work order notice was taped to the front door by the Port Chester Building Department when it was discovered that demolition work including the removal of electrical and plumbing devices was being done without a permit. <br /><!-- 1upcrlf --><br /><!-- 1upcrlf -->CLAIRE K RACINE|WESTMORE NEWS
A stop work order notice was taped to the front door by the Port Chester Building Department when it was discovered that demolition work including the removal of electrical and plumbing devices was being done without a permit.

CLAIRE K RACINE|WESTMORE NEWS
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Applebee's in The Waterfront at Port Chester complex at 42 Westchester Ave. closed suddenly without notice on Monday, Apr. 21.

The fire alarm went off that afternoon, forcing the evacuation of the entire building, including the Loews movie theaters above.

Employees went into work and were surprised to find the restaurant being dismantled.

A stop work order notice was taped to the front door by the Port Chester Building Department.

According to an e-mail from Building Inspector Peter Miley, work was stopped because "demolition and the removal of electrical/plumbing devices requires a permit so as not to leave a dangerous condition i. e. live dead end wiring, gas lines and/or plumbing waste lines."

A sign taped in the window bearing the Applebee's logo, however, stated something completely different. "Valued Guests & Neighbors," it read. "We are currently closed for a training session. Apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced."

A bartender at J T Straw's Bar & Grill on North Main Street, who also worked at Applebee's, said she showed up for work on Apr. 21 and found the space being taken apart. She picked up her check and was told she would be transferred to the Applebee's in White Plains. She felt sorry for people for whom the job was their main source of income.

Several messages were left for Steve at Apple-Metro Inc. in Harrison, owners of the New York area-based Applebee's restaurants, who, according to the company operator had knowledge about the Port Chester store, but none were returned.

According to several accounts, business volume at the Port Chester Applebee's was far less than at other restaurants in the chain and other comparable eateries. Apparently the closing of the makeshift parking lot across the street by the village put the final nail in the eatery's coffin.